Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin is using Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s comments on education against him in a new ad.
Mr. Youngkin invoked footage of parents speaking out at school board meetings juxtaposed with a clip of Mr. McAuliffe saying he didn’t think parents should dictate curricula at the candidates’ debate earlier this week.
“I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach,” Mr. McAuliffe said at Tuesday’s debate in Alexandria.
The ad showed parents speaking out against sexually explicit descriptions in books offered in school libraries.
Mr. McAuliffe’s comments were met with online ire and was quickly seized by Youngkin supporters in a tight race being closely watched by both national parties.
“Where Terry McAuliffe wants to strip parents of their right to make the best decision for their children’s education, [Glenn Youngkin] will always give parents a voice,” tweeted former Vice President Mike Pence.
Mr. McAuliffe later reiterated his comments about limiting parental control in schools.
“Listen, we have a Board of [Education] working with local school boards to determine the curriculum for our schools,” Mr. McAuliffe, a former governor seeking a second term, told CBS 19 of Charlottesville. “You don’t want parents coming in every different school jurisdiction saying this is what should be taught here, this is what should be taught here.”
The McAuliffe campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Polls have varied on which candidate carries a lead in the state, indicating a tight race.
A Monmouth University poll released Monday showed Mr. McAuliffe holding a narrow 48% to 43% lead among registered voters over Mr. Youngkin, a financial executive making his first run for office. The poll, conducted from Sept. 22-26, surveyed a random sample of 801 Virginia voters and had an error margin of +/- 3.5%.
Election Day is November 2.